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Mailbag 10/26

Are Tech’s navy jerseys cursed?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 20 Virginia at Georgia Tech Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

jabsterjacket: If you were to create a list of priorities for ADJB, what would it look like?

Ben: Get some kind of donation campaign started ASAP, meet with boosters, scout potential coaches. The last two can be done interchangeably.

Chris: Read “Engineering a Program”, craft an overarching vision, start the ball rolling on fundraising for that vision, hire a football coach.

Jake: What Chris said. Plus, maybe figure out the Title IX deficit and get a shovel in the ground on the Edge project.

Knipp30: I love the blue uniforms but I can’t help but notice that some of our worst losses are in them: 2008 cfa bowl. 2006 acc championship, etc

Any idea what our record is when we wear blue? And why is that uni cursed?

Ben: BirdGT (one of the founders of the site) actually kept track of this data for a while. Interestingly, even with data going only to 2011, the blue jerseys were winless. Anyway, say what you want about wearing blue, I’ll always remember the 2014 Orange Bowl when I think of the blue jerseys.

Chris: I am anti-blue in general but man is that Orange Bowl a good memory.

Jake: This feels like a premier Akshay question. Guess he’s too big into the advanced stats these days...

R2 Bee2: Any updates on Sims’ injury?

Ben: As Frodo Swagginz mentioned in their reply, Sims sprained a foot and is day-to-day per Brent Key’s press conference. I was honestly surprised we got as much of an update about Sims’ injury as we did. Typically, coaches don’t talk about injuries at all unless it’s a season ending injury, but we actually got a specific on Sims’ injury.

DressHerInWhiteAndGold: “Rent is too damned high” and Football games are too damned long. That dude with the red singlet is ruining my Saturdays.

Truly, I am worn out trying to watch a 4 hour infomercial where somebody flings a football about every once in a while. Originally it was just the Pros, but NOW CFB games go on longer than a bad brain surgery.

With the holidays approaching, Bowl week should be renamed “38 minutes per hour of upmarket Japanese near luxury cars and EVERY cell/cable/streaming/txt service (twice between the 2nd and 3rd Down)”.

Games are SO LONG now that I can’t even stomach my old method of recording it and coming in late to FFW thru the commercials.

Will the sport suffer, or does it only to exist to serve its commercial (pun intended) master?

Ben: Maybe I’m the weird guy here, but I really don’t mind the commercials when I’m watching games. Granted, I’m also typically watching on WatchESPN, so I typically just get the “Your event is at a commercial break” screen and some generic ESPN commercials.

Chris: I’m incredibly into the weird niche products that Bally and ACCN advertise, but in general yeah, the rest of it sucks. I don’t necessarily think the sport will suffer per se, but it certainly is frustrating at times.

Drew: I do think the sport will suffer long term, but college doesn’t have a centralized authority like the NFL to reign it in. People will still keep watching, for now. But fewer and fewer people will watch random games, only watching their teams.

Jake: Honestly, if it is a home game weekend, it is incredibly rare I watch any games on TV, or even much of College Gameday. That said, long breaks are awkward in the stadium, bad for momentum and #vibes, and it doesn’t really feel like a Maybe I’m crazy, who’s to say?

Logan: I dunno, I usually just play around on my phone during the commercials and when an interesting one comes on I don’t mind watching it. Commercials don’t bother me much.

EducationalEngineer: Pastner’s comments at ACC media day were... interesting. What do y’all think of his comment that “the star of the team is the team and that is the star of the team, it is the team.”?

Drew: That does seem like a copout, but it could also just be standard coach speak. There’s no obvious star and I wouldn’t expect them to try to hype up somebody before they show it on the court.

Jake: Honestly, I think it sounds incredibly on brand for Pastner. With how floored I was by the “UNC is the best in the nation, Virginia is the best in the conference” and the “ACC needs to go full double round-robin” comments, it didn’t even register. That said, it also feels pretty on brand for coaches in general, and I don’t think he in particular would be one to gas a player up any more than his general fluffing.

Logan: That hurt my brain to read, but I guess he’s trying to say no one player will be the focus on offense and all our guys have places they can contribute. It’s kind of a cop out answer, but it could have some truth behind it.

EducationalEngineer: Do we have a breakout player this year in men’s basketball or not?

Drew: We’ll see. We’ll at least see somebody put up numbers because someone has to score. Deebo Coleman is the obvious answer, but I’ll be daring and go with Jalon Moore. He didn’t play a lot as a freshman, but when he did I think he showed a good amount of promise. I could see him making a Moses Wright-esque jump this season.

Jake: Formulated this one with the guy I go to most games with, so credit to him, a take-haver from outside the FTRS writer’s room, but I think Miles Kelly spent most of last year just ever so slightly off, be it from the speed of the game, being a hair left/right/up/down, or from pure bad luck, so I think if whatever basketball’s equivalent of BABIP comes down to normality for him, he could be in for a nice year.

Logan: I was told that the star of the team is the team.

Frodo Swagginz: With the situation at QB being tumultuous at best, what will it take for the staff to try someone different at QB? The staff clearly sees Gibson as QB2, but it’s difficult to get a read on why considering the two QBs sitting behind him are more physically gifted. I would like to add to my first question. During the press conference Key did specify that we should expect to see both Zachs play during the FSU game. Opinions?

Ben: I’m very intrigued to see what Zach Pyron can do against Florida State. I think he is probably still very raw, which is likely why Gibson still holds the edge over him on the depth chart. More interesting to me is that both of them are ahead of Taisun Phommachanh. I’m not sure if he’s injured or just got passed on the depth chart, but that doesn’t seem like a good look for him. Anyway, back to the Zachs, I think we’ll see some improved play from Gibson. When he was able to get passes off, his passes actually looked pretty solid. A lot of his mistakes were mental or because the pocket couldn’t stay open for more than half a second.

Chris: I think it’s a good sign that he explicitly said we’d see both Zachs. To me that means he’s willing to try new things and see who the best option is in-game instead of just sticking with someone for the sake of sticking with them. I’m very interested to see how we do it though; I’m assuming Gibson will be the starter and Pyron will come in after a couple series maybe?

Jake: Based on what we saw from the test in production of Zach Gibson last week, I would be intrigued by the possibility of Zach Pyron, as well, but would hope to not throw the freshman too far into the deep end, if that is the situation he steps into.

Logan: I think you have to be more careful about shifting your QBs around on a week to week basis. You only have so much practice time with each guy so just because you think someone has more talent doesn’t necessarily mean they will be the better player on the field that week. There’s also the youth aspect, the leadership aspect, the road game aspect, and the confidence aspects to consider (not saying keeping the status quo would be best after evaluating those different parts of the game, but they are things to think about). I think we will see the other players if Gibson continues to struggle or if Sims can’t come back but I think the coaches will want to avoid playing them as much as possible.

Frodo Swagginz: This question is purely hypothetical and any answer I get I will take a massive chunk of salt with it. If Tech were to hire Jamey Chadwell (Praying to the football gods, both the old and the new) does McCall come with him and if so, where does that leave Sims?

Ben: I think people really overvalue Grayson McCall. That’s nothing against McCall. He has done a very good job at Coastal Carolina and would probably compete for the starting job if he transferred to Georgia Tech. However, I do not think he would be guaranteed to win it. If Chadwell and Willy Korn can turn 2-star Grayson McCall into the QB he is, imagine what they could do with a talent like Jeff Sims or Zach Pyron.

Chris: I don’t think so. He’s a Junior this year and I think he’d probably rather declare for the draft than transfer schools this late. A bad year at a rebuilding program wouldn’t be great for his draft stock.

Ben: We’ve had a lot of chatter about this in our Slack channel. On the one hand, Gibson is absolutely right. It was one play. That one play is not the reason Tech lost. Tech lost because its offense was completely anemic the entire game. That being said, however, I don’t think that’s an excuse for running out of bounds there. He mentioned he didn’t see a throw, and that’s fine, but college football is weird, and [Styx] can happen. I think you have to at least try to get the ball off. Sure it may be a very low percentage play to tie the game up, but it was a better than 0% chance to tie it up, which is more than can be said about running out of bounds there. With all that being said, I’m not going to pile on him. He made a lot of mental errors against Virginia, but it’s also the most in-game action he’s seen all year. He wasn’t going to be perfect. With Sims nursing a foot sprain, both Zachs are likely working with the first team in practice, so hopefully Chip Long and Chris Weinke are able to work through those mental errors. As a quarterback, you sometimes have to put the team on your back to force something. You at least have to try.

Logan: Obviously I don’t like, not gonna speak for everyone but I would say the majority of our staff weren’t super jazzed by the answer. It goes to show the kind of mentality I’ve been frustrated by with Tech of the past 3 years which is the idea that it is ok to just give up on a game because the situation is not good. I will say, I’m not the guy getting sacked and run around on every drive so it’s easy for me to critique. I can see why he would just want the game to be over from a human standpoint, but from a fan standpoint and a player standpoint you can’t have that mentality in the locker room. I want to believe Zach Gibson can be better given time, but that statement is not a great look for Gibson and it may make it difficult for the fans to embrace him in the future.

Submitted via email: What’s in the hopper for Qb? We got a taste of some qb futility with Sims out this past week and Sims hasn’t really impressed in two years. Do we actively recruit a QB or just hope Sims turns things around?

Ben: At the moment, the QB room is still very young. Sims and Gibson are both sophomores, and Pyron is going to more than likely be a redshirt freshman next season. I would like to see Tech add a QB in this year’s class, and I wouldn’t be mad if it was a portal guy similar to how Gibson transferred: not necessarily to start, but providing depth. Pyron is the QB of the future right now, though. With that in mind, J Batt needs to make sure that whatever coach he hires can keep Pyron on board.

Chris: I think we go for a portal guy - get someone with real game experience that we can drop into whatever the new system is next year.

Logan: I think we should put more effort into recruiting (or getting transfers) on the O-line. I think we have decent talent at QB, some might argue great talent, but if you can’t block for them then they will always look like they are struggling. Fix the O-line before we worry about getting a star QB.

Submitted via email: Hi guys,

Hope everyone is doing ok after the loss last weekend. That was one of the worst games I’ve watched in a long time. Lets not allow one bad week to ruin the holidays this weekend.

Aside from Halloween I believe Dawali is also taking place over this week (it actually just ended yesterday, sorry if you missed it). That leads me to my question; do you have any non-traditional American or christian holidays that you celebrate on the year? Which ones do you celebrate and can you tell us more about them so we can learn something.

Later Y’all

Mr. Perfect Cell

Ben: I don’t know if it’s necessarily non-traditional, but I am on the bandwagon of doing away with Columbus Day and replacing it with Indigenous Peoples Day, because Christopher Columbus was actually a pretty horrible person who shouldn’t be celebrated. Outside of that, I’m a big fan of any cat or coffee related holidays.

Chris: Left Handers day.

Jake: I love Casimir Pulaski Day, a holiday basically contrived into existence by Illinois politics, but nonetheless one that allows me to celebrate my Polish (and Chicago) heritage. While it honors Chicago and the state’s large Polish population, it was also probably invented to curry favor with said large Polish community by said local politicians, but alas, it is recognition nonetheless, and was also always a perfectly delightful reason to have a day off of school. For those interested in joining me, Pulaski Day is celebrated on the first Monday in March each spring.

Logan: I enjoy celebrating the Chinese New Year, but I’m not tied directly to the holiday. I enjoy the traditions though.

Jake Grant: I figure it might get lost to the sands of time if I post it in last week’s Mailbag thread, so this quote is for you, CTJacket:

“Conveniently, the school in Athens had ripped off Notre Dame’s offense, already possessing Yale’s stadium design and mascot, marching band uniforms from the British, a fight song from the Union Army, hedges from literally everywhere, and, later on, a logo sourced from a bunch of Wisconsinite meatpackers. It makes sense their schemes weren’t any more original than putting both peanut butter and jelly on a sandwich.”

One of these days, Rearview will get the rest of the way to the modern day...